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Government in Action!

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Three aldermen in Dover, N.J., seem exceptionally apprehensive that the town's gumball machines are easy targets for terrorists to poison their community and have been studying the issue zealously since April. The aldermen have checked all 800 gumball machines in the town of 18,000, gotten rid of the 100 that were unlicensed, and will report to the mayor by Jan. 1 on the town's vulnerability. (The mayor has been mildly supportive of the project, as contrasted with the police chief, who said, "You'd probably win the lottery first" before being victimized by terrorists' gumballs.)

Silliness: The New York City Department of Education is currently paying 757 employees their full salaries while they sit idle in nine "reassignment rooms" each day, awaiting hearings on alleged wrongdoing. Union contracts require the payments until final adjudication, yet the department fears that having the accused in the workplace would jeopardize students and the school system (according to a September New York Post report).

The Lancashire (England) Police recently concluded its investigation of Constable Jayson Lobo, finding that he merely committed errors, and not fraud, in his expense account (with discrepancies totaling the equivalent of less than $200). The Times of London reported that the investigation cost the equivalent of about $1 million.

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